by Gregg Kelly

Would it surprise you to understand there is a lot more to Japanese cuisine than raw fish and wasabi? Wasabi, most of the time, is actually added to a soy sauce to increase spice. Beef Teriyaki is the equivalent of Japanese steak, and sushi is almost always certainly cooked according to preference.

One thing is for certain, and I can’t state this fact enough, chopsticks take a bit of getting used to, and I’ll never take knives and forks for granted ever again.

I’m visiting eSUSHI, a swanky new Japanese restaurant located right in the heart of Byres Road, and I’m here to do lunch.

Stepping through the doors, I immediately notice how relaxed the atmosphere is; no staff screaming at each other, no waiters frantically running from table to table. I’m greeted with a smile and led to my table. Perfect for any stressed student or businessman looking to escape for lunch and with the promise you can be in and out the door within the hour, eSUSHI is perfect for anyone with less time than the March Hare from Alice in Wonderland.

READ MORE: Hip new Japanese restaurant eSUSHI arrives in Glasgow’s West End

Seating a total of 70 people, eSUSHI definitely prides itself on the level of intimacy it can provide, lighting seemingly always set at dusk and the upbeat jazz playing in the background loud enough to mask conversation, but not so loud as to be intrusive, creates a warm and harmonious atmosphere.

I'll be honest, I was somewhat nervous about my visit, considering I’m more McDonald’s than Michelin star. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the menu has considerable variety and a taste to suit every palate. Being a passionate purveyor of poultry, Yakitori chicken followed by katsu chicken seemed like the dream menu choice. Being offered a choice of beverage, and not wanting to seem uncultured, I chose a bottle of ramune, a delightfully designed bottle of strawberry soft drink, bottled and manufactured in Japan.

The food was lovely. The chicken skewers served on a traditional clay fired Japanese dish was drizzled with a homemade sauce, so secret it’s only known to the chefs in the kitchen. Mirin was as much information as I could retrieve. With two of the chefs having spent years being trained in Japan, you can be assured the recipe has travelled a long way to satisfy the appetites of Glaswegians. A complete delight and a fantastic warm up for the main course.

READ MORE: Chicken katsu recipe - watch how to make the perfect one at home

While waiting for the main course, I took a little gaze at the décor in eSUSHI, space efficient with a hint of Japanese authenticity, helps brings a sense of Japanese culture into the West End.

The main course arrives and does not disappoint, the katsu chicken wrapped in panko breadcrumbs is light, fluffy and cooked to perfection, allowing the chicken to retain its succulence. Brought to the table sliced makes perfect sense, as attempting to slice food with chopsticks would have been a bizarre situation for the staff to view.

The accompanying salad was fresh, had hints of citrus and a lovely drizzle that enhances the flavour. Dipping the katsu chicken in the provided homemade secret sweet sauce added a touch of class to an already mouthwatering meal.

With my starter and main, including beverage sitting in the region of around £20, eSUSHI certainly appeals to more than just the West End crowd. A delightful restaurant, with a perfect blend of tradition and contemporary tastes, eSUSHI was a pleasure from start to finish.

Be aware though, it can get quite busy at the weekend, so book ahead.

eSUSHI also offers a pickup service and can also deliver. Brilliant idea for those rainy, hungover Sundays.


eSUSHI can be found at 130 Byres Road, and it is open from noon to 10pm, Monday to Friday, and until 11pm on Saturday and Sunday. Head to for more information.